Day 13 on Anchor Island. 5th January 2010. Leaving :-(

I’m not myself today. Working for the Kakapo Recovery Programme and living on Anchor Island has gotten under my skin and I’m sad to be leaving. Steve braved torrential morning rain to change Hauturu’s hoppers, and took a shortcut back through the track I got lost on. Tim was busy cleaning hut from top to bottom. I tried to be useful but found the best way to do this was by keeping out of the way, reading and occasionally making the odd round of tea for everyone. Jonathon came in his helicopter and dropped off Chris and his partner, the next set of Anchorians taking over from us. Chris’ partner reminded me of me when I first arrived just 13 days ago, wide-eyed and excited and not tired and exhausted at all yet! It was really nice to see and I hope she will love her time here as much as I have. Then Jonathon collected deer hunter Allan and his tracker dog Nog from Resolution Island (they were coming over to help try and locate mystery missing female kakapo, Hauturu). Didn’t have to introduce myself.  “Are you Laura?”, he asked. I guess they also got to know me through our use of the same radio channel to communicate with our fellow islanders. Nice, brief exchange of pleasantries before we went off on our way. Weather had cleared for a calm ride in helicopter over the sounds, calmer than what it was flying over. Back to civilisation on dry land and we dropped off the hut rubbish and recycling at the largest DOC office in the country in Te Anau (Fiordland is the largest national park in NZ).

Checked into LakeView Holiday Park where I was staying the night, settled in, did some shopping. Weird having to pay money for things again like food and not being able to just walk into the well-stocked pantry and take something. Also weird walking on flat pavements again! Met up with Christine, her partner, Sanjay (DOC workers), and Steve and Tim for drinks at Redcliff Cafe, had 3 beers and was tipsy! Hugged Steve and Tim goodbye. It’s been an awesome 2 weeks. Didn’t go straight back to Holiday Park, sat by Lake Te Anau reflecting on the past 2 weeks. Felt a bit melancholy and wistful. Boots are damp and really starting to smell. Bus at 7am tomorrow to Invercargill. Was supposed to fly to Codfish tomorrow but weather has forced the flight to be delayed by one day, so a free day in Invercargill tomorrow. Will visit tuatara at the Southland Museum, take boots back to Kathmandu, and RELAX!

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